Pet Projects

Barb watched carefully as Jeddy made his way toward her, a single sheet of paper in one hand, slipping easily between the desks of the open office. He moved like an athlete despite the three piece suit.  Wide shoulders, long legs and always on the go, Jeddy was the epitome of a good manager.  Barb fussed with the front of her blue, flower print blouse for a minute, straightening the button line and hoping the third one down didn’t choose this moment to slip free of the hole and gape open.  Her mind flashed to the small safety pin fastened to the inside of her purse.  It was too late now.

“Hey there Barbara.  How’s your day going?”  His voice was smooth and rose effortlessly over the subdued sounds of keyboards and mouse clicks.  The office flowed productively along, heads pointed at screens as each worker catalogued their data for the day.

Snapping her head upward she tried to look friendly and alert.  “Good morning Jeddy.  I’m good.”  Her smile felt a bit feral so she backed it off.  With a slight twist of her head she brought a single, golden, lock of hair across her shoulder where it lay alluringly, the blond touches looking more platinum in the glare of the fluorescent office lighting.

“Yeah, that’s great.”  Jeddy leaned against the outer edge of her desk, his thigh pressing against the metal.  The dark, grey, wool of his slacks looked soft and brushed, a slight sheen to it.  “Look, I have a project I want to delegate.  It’s not a large project but it will take a couple of people to get it done.”  His long, Norwegian face was relaxed and expressive, the blue eyes encouraging her as he spoke.  “Do you think you could find someone who would be interested?”  He lifted his hand with the paper up for her to see, typed side facing him.

“I can certainly have a look, if you like.”  Her eyes flicked upward to the paper and she leaned forward expectantly, one hand moving toward him.

“It’s kind a pet project I’ve been thinking about.”  He held onto the paper and looked meaningfully at her.  “I think it would speed things up for us.”

Pet project?  Suspicious, Barb pulled her hand away and leaned back against the cushion of her black, office chair.

“I don’t know, Jeddy.  I have a lot of work already.  Taking on a pet project for you sounds like extra hours.”  And weekends.  He was pretty to look at and all but, seriously, who wanted to take on someone else’s work?

Jeddy straightened up, his thigh moving off her desk.  He smiled.  “That’s fine Barb.  I can keep looking.”  Without a goodbye he moved away.

The space in front of her desk felt empty.  Barb stared at the spot where his leg had been and wondered if she had just made a mistake?  She looked down and her face flushed hotly.  The button had come undone.

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